Have you ever discovered a cell that makes a unique kind of antibody? Former PCC student Alex Reynolds has!

As a dual-enrolled student during high school, Reynolds earned 46 academic credits that fulfilled virtually all of his general education requirements as he transferred to Cornell University.
Alex Reynolds Photo
“The credits I transferred to Cornell allowed me to focus on courses within my major (biology), to explore non‐required topics related to my central focus, and to receive training in other areas of interest, such as French and music, at the college level,” shared Reynolds. “Being able to take college level courses at PCC while in high school helped during my college application process by demonstrating my ability to adapt to and succeed in a new form and level of classroom learning. I truly believe that my time at PCC contributed significantly to my acceptance into Cornell University.”

Currently Reynolds is a Ph.D. Candidate in Immunology at Duke University. His primary study is the cells that make antibodies, called plasma cells.

Reynolds went on to say, “When interviewed for admittance into the Immunology doctoral program at Duke University, I discussed how the large variety and number of courses I took at PCC contributed to my education and success. People are always amazed to find out that I was not a transfer student, but actually transferred courses that I took during high school as part of the dual‐enrollment program.”

Through his studies at Duke University, Reynolds has discovered the cell that makes a unique kind of antibody called “natural antibody.” This antibody protects against infection and autoimmunity, and is now being tested as a therapy for autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. His research has opened up the possibility of studying the source of this antibody more closely, and perhaps manipulating it for therapeutic reasons. His major is Immunology and his thesis is “The Studies on the Origin of Natural Antibody.”

Community members have an opportunity to learn more about Reynolds’ research and higher education possibilities on Thursday, October 29, 1 – 2 p.m. at PCC’s Person County Campus (S-100), 1715 College Drive in Roxboro. This presentation is hosted by PCC’s Science Club. Large groups are asked to reserve space in advance by calling Beth Townsend at 322-2104.

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